Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu May 31, 2012 11:49 am

Ok any one familiar with Reno's amtrak station? Do they weigh your bags before you get on? For carrys ons? I want to stop at winco and load up on bulk stuff (flour sugar ect) sense we dont have one any where near here. So that for sure will put me over my 50. So if they don't I will be good. Any input?
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu May 31, 2012 11:52 am

The didn't weigh mine, but I only had the day pack, my other stuff--wait, how did that get there and home in 09?
Someone very kindly helped me and I've forgotten the details, probably the Commisar...
But I don't think I could have handled 50# in the push chair, and I might have been given special consideration.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Savannah » Thu May 31, 2012 12:13 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:Ok any one familiar with Reno's amtrak station? Do they weigh your bags before you get on? For carrys ons? I want to stop at winco and load up on bulk stuff (flour sugar ect) sense we dont have one any where near here. So that for sure will put me over my 50. So if they don't I will be good. Any input?


They do weigh your bags before you get on. Their scales are sensitive, and will report heavier readings than your home scales. (I experienced a difference of 3 or 4 lbs between what my scale said and what Amtrak's said). They do not weigh carry-ons--in my experience--but keep in mind you will then have to wrangle them yourself. Still, I have used the unweighed carry-on to my advantage.

Are you saying that you want to buy flour and sugar on your way out of Reno?? . . . It is hard to imagine a deal on flour or sugar good enough to transport it over state lines, but if you decide to do it and succeed, you'll have a funny story. :D
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby lucky420 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:29 pm

I was wondering the same thing Sav... :?
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby junglesmacks » Thu May 31, 2012 12:47 pm

lucky420 wrote:I was wondering the same thing Sav... :?


I was wondering the same thing too.. :lol: :lol: .. but didn't want to be accused of "needling" again..
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu May 31, 2012 12:57 pm

Yeah we don't have a place anywhere near by that has the Bins. It is dirt cheap to buy it in bins. I like to make bread and yeast is like $1 a pound if not less. Pasta, and juice mix is also cheap. Compaired to there and here its like a $3 diff per pound.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Savannah » Thu May 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Well, it will be easy to come to a decision when the Burn is over, as long as you fully expect them to weigh your checked bags. You will let your spare time and your energy levels inform you of what to do. I too, am stubborn and like to save a buck.

Protect the containers though. What if it gets punctured en route? :lol:
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Thu May 31, 2012 3:22 pm

Savannah wrote:What if it gets punctured en route? :lol:


On a plane, all air traffic would cease for at least 24 hours and you'd be executed on the spot.

On a train, they might be a bit annoyed that you didn't seal your flour well enough.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Savannah » Thu May 31, 2012 3:26 pm

God, I love the train . . .
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Thu May 31, 2012 3:31 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:Do they weigh your bags before you get on? For carrys ons?


All checked bags get weighed. I haven't been to Reno (grr ...) but I have never seen a station with a way to weigh carry-on bags (not Glenwood Springs, CO, Denver, Chicago, Rochester, NY, Schenectady, NY, Albany, NY, NYC, Boston, nor Washington, DC.) I've never even seen a conductor with one of those handheld luggage scales.

I'm sure if you could barely move it they'd send you to baggage claim to check, but I've seen people with things that must have been more than 50#.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu May 31, 2012 4:09 pm

yeah this will just be carry ons. No checked. I know they do checked. Just couldn't remember if they did carry on to.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Savannah » Thu May 31, 2012 4:53 pm

The Amtrak website tells you how many and what physical size your carry-ons may be. They can't be just any size, mind you (the dimensions are listed)--but the weight is kind of up to you.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:03 am

jaycerochester wrote:
kalouts1 wrote:Just checked for a "room" for CHI ==> REN, it is kind of expensive: I have to add $382 on top. More expensive than the whole trip...


Although it may not be ideal, I think it may be cheaper to do the sleeper ("Superliner Roomette" with access to common showers) for one "leg" rather than the whole trip. I coerced the online ticketing system by making a multi-city trip (if you do one leg at a time, it's a lot more).


I just started planning out my trip. I have lots of "Amtrak Guest Rewards" points from a credit card that I use for business a lot. However, you can sign up for the guest rewards program for free and earn points, or you can buy them. There's a promotion until the end of June with a 30% perk, so the points regularly go for $27.50 for 1,000, but now it's $27.50 for 1,300 (or $21.15 for 1,000). A roomette is 15,000 points for 1 zone, 20,000 points for 2 zones, or 35,000 points for 3 zones (there are three zones in the country, from the Pacific to Denver, Denver to Chicago, and from Chicago to the Atlantic). It seems the roomettes cost about $325 per zone over the cost of coach (with no apparent advantage to going 1, 2, or 3 zones.)

So if you were to pay for a roomette for two zones, it would cost about $650 more than coach (although the prices go all over the board, seemingly at random). But it's "only" 20,000 points for two zones, or, if you buy them, $423. And that includes the ticket price.

In other words, as of the May 15 message I posted, a roomette from Chicago to Reno would cost $625, but if you do the same thing only buying points, it's $423.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:18 am

Savannah wrote:The Amtrak website tells you how many and what physical size your carry-ons may be. They can't be just any size, mind you (the dimensions are listed)--but the weight is kind of up to you.


It's a gamble, but they generally don't check. I've seen some stuff brought on that wildly violates the dimensions specified for carry-on. If you're really quite close, it'll be okay.

Last year (grr...) this is what I brought:

Image

I intended to check the totes (which are strapped to a cart) and the large suitcase. They said I couldn't check totes, so I shuffled things around (I had things I wanted to carry on in the green bag which I swapped for stuff in the totes) and brought the totes as carry-on and checked the green duffel and the large suitcase. The backpack was okay either way.

Officially carry-on must be smaller than 28x21x14 (and less than 50#) — which is pretty big — but each tote is too thick: 21x16x19, and stacked together, that's 21x16x38 with a few inches more for the wheels.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby FeetOfClay » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:24 am

Jay:

I recall u mentioned somewhere the idea of sewing square "duffel bags" that would essentially encase and hide the totes.

Do you believe that this would work (considering doing it)? or would the handlers take one look at it and go "nice try: that's a tote wrapped in canvas".
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:26 am

Jayce, a couple of years ago i spent probably a total of 2 months on trains...all of them, the southwest chief, the empire builder, the zephyr, etc etc...

after extensive analysis and multiple attempts at number crunching and algorithms i determined that the pricing structure and timing of purchases are totally random and nobody at amtrak knows what the fuck is going on, except for Charles, my favorite porter on the First Class Empire Builder from Portland to Milwaukee.

he knows Everything...
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby tattoogoddess » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:05 am

So far We have with Tickets-

Kalouts1- Fort Lauderdale,Florida to Reno
FeetOfClay- NY to Reno
My self- Osceola, Iowa to Reno
Ensimismada- Salt Lake City, Utah to Reno

Anyone else want to join in?
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:13 am

Also, what's everyone's favorite type of cookie?
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby FeetOfClay » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:22 am

glad we will all be on the train together! :)

as far as cookies, I don't eat sugar, and I am vegan, so unless you want to take on a research project and learn vegan baking (unless you are already familiar with), then just don't sweat it, and maybe bring some berries. i will be happy with berries!

or maybe it's up to ME to make the obligatory "health cookies" to add to the cookie pool on the train :)
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Savannah » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:32 am

FeetOfClay wrote:Jay:

I recall u mentioned somewhere the idea of sewing square "duffel bags" that would essentially encase and hide the totes.

Do you believe that this would work (considering doing it)? or would the handlers take one look at it and go "nice try: that's a tote wrapped in canvas".


You could phone the specific station, or go down there and ask and tell them exactly what you want to do. They don't know your name. :) . . . Amtrak is weirdly fair, but the last thing you want is a hassle on the day you are leaving for the Burn, to reorganize your whole luggage strategy while in line, or to miss your train. It is preventable stress. (I am always crazy the night before I leave for the Burn. I'm tired--but it's hard to sleep . . . and I always manage to think of something else I suddenly want to do, etc.)

If they say, "Okay, fine" and you sew bags, use clear packing tape on the totes before you shove them in. Then pack the packing tape.

You could also go to the "Ross Dress for Less" with the measurements for checked baggage written down, and a tape measure, and pick out some large, crazy, sturdy luggage on the cheap*. If there is a flaw, even better--two years ago I bargained 20% or 30% off a huge wheeled suitcase with the manager because it was clear to me that some cheapskate had purchased a suitcase, used it once for a trip, and returned it. (The wheels were too scratched up to have merely been dragged through the store a few times). Both the manager and I knew no one in their right mind was going to buy this bag, so. :lol:

* Lots of people also own wheeled luggage they don't want anymore. Offer $10 per piece (specify desired sizes) to friends & family and see if you get any results.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:06 am

FeetOfClay wrote:I recall u mentioned somewhere the idea of sewing square "duffel bags" that would essentially encase and hide the totes.

Do you believe that this would work (considering doing it)? or would the handlers take one look at it and go "nice try: that's a tote wrapped in canvas".


I think so. They just don't want stuff falling out all over the place, and zippers tend to stay closed unless they fail. Latches and lids can be opened too easily. The two women I gave my ticket to in 2011 were madly taping glowy hula-hoops together to check — apparently that was acceptable enough.

As such, I think they're just looking for something that will stay closed even if it's shifted around.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:13 am

tattoogoddess wrote:Anyone else want to join in?


I am going to get the trike rideable this month, period. Once that's done, I'll need to more seriously plan logistics, but the estimate right now is that I'll leave Rochester August 21, Chicago on August 22, Denver on August 23, and arrive in Winnemucca on August 24. I should meet the UPS shipment on Friday the 24th, and I'll start pedaling as early as late Saturday night to arrive in the wee hours of Monday morning. All this depends on my improved speed estimates once I've had a chance to try out the trike a while.

On the way back, I'll leave Burning Man on Monday, September 3 and get to Winnemucca sometime on the 4th. Again depending on trike speed, I'm planning to leave Winnemucca on Wednesday, September 5, Denver on September 6, Chicago on September 7, and return to Rochester on September 8.

(And I'll set myself up with roomettes the two zones west of Chicago.)
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby lemur » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:37 am

tattoogoddess wrote:Ok any one familiar with Reno's amtrak station? Do they weigh your bags before you get on? For carrys ons? I want to stop at winco and load up on bulk stuff (flour sugar ect) sense we dont have one any where near here. So that for sure will put me over my 50. So if they don't I will be good. Any input?


ive never checked anything on amtrak.. but.. as for the common practices..that ive seen

they seem to expect that no bags are over 50 as per what i remember the website saying ... but in my experience of 4 round trips to/from reno they did not ever weigh anyones carry-on bags.. you just.. carried them on.. perhaps with one of the staff helping you.. i imagine if it was WAY heavier than 50 theyd wonder why it was if they had helped you bring it onboard (you have to consider that other passengers might need to move your bags during transit as its all piled up) .. but again much over 50 and you probably arent gonna be moving it easily anyways yourself..


ive seen them weigh CHECKED baggage at reno and in chicagos station.. they are very strict.. i saw them make a gurl take out 2 pounds worth of stuff..and 3 pounds worth of stuff on her bags.. as well as other people.


i dont personally see much reason to check stuff on the amtrak.. you can bring two 50 pound carryon luggaes plus a personal bag on the train with you .. 100+ pounds of stuff is a lot to lug around... plus it wont be out of your sight/lost (a friend has had bags lost on amtrak when checked before).. but also could be accessed by other people..
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:48 pm

You know, checking a bike on Amtrak looks to be one more hassle. I think I'll buy/rent one from Kiwanis so I can avoid having to find a box, take the pedals off, box it, pay to check it, etc.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:23 pm

Yep, it is a pain. Did it from V beach to Iowa. They bent my fork. :(
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:35 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:They bent my fork.

[Thread drift]That could so easily be repurposed to sound totally obscene.[/Thread drift]
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:54 pm

Whatever bends your fork, baby.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Savannah » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 pm

Fork yer day!
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby Zhust » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:20 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:They bent my fork.


In 2004 I went from Rochester to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. During the long layover in Chicago, I went to a diner and — in a feat of unmatched serendipity and luck — met this cool chick who had come in from Massachusetts on the same train and was continuing on to Denver. I joined her on an excursion to the art museum for 90 minutes then rushed back to meet the train.

Well, you know in old movies, where the train would go into a tunnel, and that meant the "train" went into the "tunnel"? Well, there are no tunnels between Chicago and Denver. But from Denver to Glenwood Springs, there are 23.

That really bent my fork.
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Re: Amtrak to Burning Man? (reno)

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:22 pm

Wait you fucked 23 times? Oh that poor girls vagina.
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